• Catalina Zbar

5 Tips for Online Classes

You may have pivoted towards providing online training for your classes due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, and were not necessarily prepared for doing this from home. Here are 5 tips for delivering the best online classes to your clients.

1) Consider your environment

Making the best of what's available to you, try to create as aesthetic of a background as possible. The more minimal the better, but depending on your personal style, you may choose to leave a painting or a plant in the background. Always make sure you have good lighting. You want to replicate a professional studio to the best of your abilities, but rest assured: clients are not expecting you to have a home studio decked out with high end camera and lighting equipment.

2) Manage expectations

Ample communication and clear direction will ensure that your clients know what to expect. Make sure you send out instructions ahead of the call, detailing how to use the technology you've chosen, whether they should play their own music, mute their devices, have small equipment ready to go such as water bottles instead of weights and small towels instead of gliders, for instance. When you send out any links or logins, make sure that you offer up some time at the beginning of the class to ensure everyone is properly set up. This will ensure your clients know what to expect, leading to a smooth and seamless class.

3) The Playlist!

Consider the playlist, and how it will sound to your clients. It may take a few tries to perfect the quality. Staying away from rooms with echoes or outside noise as well as using wireless microphones or Bluetooth earbuds can be helpful. Studies have shown that the music accompanying a workout can have real performance-boosting effects. Unfortunately, when it comes to playing music during your workouts - it's not all fun and games. Unless you have the appropriate licensing, you aren't allowed to play it! You could get around this by sending out the playlist to the class participants in advance, which will have the added benefit of sounding better from each individual's home.

4) Try to stick to as 'normal' of a class as possible

Clients are craving consistency and normalcy, not only is their fitness routine disrupted - their entire lives are! Clients are looking for the in-class experience, albeit digital. Think back to typical in-studio classes and consider every element, and which of those can be replicated when offering digital classes. Start on time, welcome people as they join, ask how everyone is doing, check in to understand whether anyone has any ailments or injuries you should consider, provide a brief introduction to newcomers, and offer modifications and suggestions for all levels. And don't forget to cheer them on! Praise them and inspire them to stay on track.

5) Ask for feedback

For both most of your clients and instructors, this is going to be an entirely new experience, and communication is key! It is important to set aside time for everyone to have the opportunity to ask questions and voice any concerns. This includes instructors checking in with studio owners, with clients and vice versa. Asking for feedback and continually checking in will ensure that everyone feels supported. A brief e-mail survey would also be a great way to get a sense of how your community is feeling, providing an additional opportunity to let them know that you are there for them.

Just as your clients are dedicated to their fitness goals, they will appreciate your dedication. We are navigating these unusual circumstances together and your best efforts, coupled with an authentic desire to continue to serve your clients will go a long way.